If you’re reading this, it means you have most likely entered the sad long abyss of being dumped. Welcome to the club! And whether this is the first break up or the fiftieth, the facts remain the same: Breaking up sucks.
As a new member of the club, I’ve chosen to focus on the lighter things to make this experience as endurable as possible. And along the way, I’ve learned many things that people never really explain about breaking up. Just like every relationship, every break up is different.
But we can find comfort in having a few constants (Yay Us!) There are a few things to consider that no one tells you will happen, but inevitably will.
Here’s what I’ve found:
1. It's a Lifestyle Change
Just like starting a new school or driving a different route to work due to construction, living post-break up is a complete change. Change can be very scary, but it depends how you handle it. It is difficult to come to terms of not having a constant text message to appear on your phone or always having that person to call. And no matter the longevity of your most recent relationship, this matter will remain the same. It's hard to adjust to your old routine or even create a new one. But that’s okay.
You are going to have moments where you’ll catch your breath when you drive by the place you had your first date or first kiss. That will never change.
Watching your ex-lover’s life in pictures the same way you used to memorize their smile is a painful process. When you’ve committed a portion of your life to that person and then all of a sudden they are gone, that’s a lifestyle change. It’s like teaching yourself to walk once again.
But you will! Form new habits. Change up your own routine. Don’t go crazy. Don’t dye your hair a shade you hate because you can pull the “I’ve just been dumped” card.
Find happiness in small events. Jump for joy when you find a penny heads up (Yup, I totally did this), walk a different way to class or work, or start a new television show. It is an adjustment, and definitely one that is unavoidable. But just as easy as it was for you to find that short-cut to avoid the daily traffic or adjust to a new class, this lifestyle change will also become that easy for you. Be patient.
2. Music Changes Everything
Boy, did this one hit me hard. We don’t realize how much music influences our daily lives. We're surrounded by songs (most often about love or relationships) in all facets of our lives! That's why along with a lifestyle comes a music change. This doesn’t mean that you can never listen to silly love songs again, but replaying them will only do more harm. At least for a while.
I had always told my most recent boyfriend that I knew I loved him when "all the songs on the radio finally made sense to me". Three years later, I find myself understanding all the break-up songs even more. While you may feel the need to have a few days drenched in every Adele album, this just becomes really toxic and will only leave you more in the dumps.
My advice, make a playlist. It’s like basically dating a whole bunch of new artists and genres until you are able to see the old ones again. Fill it with songs that will guarantee make you happy or give you inspiration. The first song you listen to in the morning has the ability to make your entire day. Hype yourself up for life by surrounding yourself with songs that are on your side. Explore Spotify or Apple Music for some pre-made playlists to help you get through this time. They are there for a reason! You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last to utilize them.
3. Time Heals Everything
How cliche. Sue me.
But this phrase is just so true. Perhaps you are unable to see it because you are so warped in your world of heartbreak. Which is completely normal and understandable. However, the true magic potion to falling out of love is time. However long it takes you, it will happen. Unfortunately, there is no pre-measured formula to get to this place. But odds are, in about a year, you will be laughing over your doubt in yourself. Keep reminding yourself that the more you distance yourself from the situation, the easier it gets. Of course, this is much easier said than done.
4. You're Stronger Than You Think.
I get it. During this time, especially in the beginning, you feel as if you’re entire world has crumbled. And this feeling is normal for the first couple days or weeks. However, at some point, you must come to the terms of situation in order for you to move on.That's where the strength comes in.
I am still in shock of my much strength can be controlled entirely by myself. Many of my friends approached me during this time telling me how much they admire my strength. But I remind them: I'm not strong because I want to be, I'm strong because I HAVE to be. I have no other choice.
It's gonna sting. Getting up, getting dressed, getting back into your groove. It hurts real bad at first. But when your heart breaks, you gotta fight like hell to make sure you're still alive.
Every. Single. Day.
Imagine starting a new work out routine at the gym. First, you start out with a smaller weight that you may find hard. But slowly, you adjust to it and are able to increase the amount of weight you use. Over time, you keep increasing the weight and it becomes easier and easier while you are just becoming all the more stronger. Getting over a broken heart is a similar process. But as soon as you get stronger, the easier it gets.
And even if you believe you don’t have it in you, you do. You are stronger and braver than you believe you are, but you have to dig deep to find it. THIS is the only way to move forward every minute of every day until you're back to your normal self.
You must become a fighter. Period.
5. People Are Stronger in Numbers.
The first reaction to a breakup is the reminder of how alone you are. Even in the moments when you feel the most lonely, you are so wrong.
We often forget that breaking up is NORMAL and everyone has gone through it. Think of it as a "Young Lovers Heartbreak Club". This phenomenon was so shocking to me, even though I’ve been handing out advice about love all these years like it’s my job.
I am still speechless of the undeniable support I have received over the past weeks. Especially from the women in my life. The outreach I have received is unreal: from my friends, to my family members, my friends parents, and people I haven’t spoken to in years. Why? Because they’ve all done it before. They’re already members of the club. And while the last thing they want to do is to be the one helping you with the club membership, it is bound to happen. That strength that you’ve built up for yourself has been endured by too many women (and men!!). They understand. They've been there.
Women (and men) are strong. And when they band together, they’re even stronger. It is unbelievable. Everyone supports you and only wants you to be happy. Why? Because they love you more than you could know. And they won’t ever break up with you.
6. You're One Step Closer.
If you've gone through a break up, that means you are one step closer to finding the person you are actually destined to be with. This is a difficult concept to grasp, but once you do, it can really change your perspective on the situation.
I say: Look back on your memories with that person and smile. There’s a part of them that will always stay with you that someone else will maybe get to know one day. I can attribute all of my knowledge on superheroes, football, cars, and even foods I didn’t think I would like to my person. And that will never change! But now, I get to share all of those parts of me with someone else some day. And while these memories will always stick with you, it is important to hold your head high and move forward.
You are in complete control of your happiness and must CHOOSE happy each day. Everything happens for a reason. Perhaps this reason is for you to come into contact with the person you are meant to be with. Or perhaps not. But you’re one step closer than you were yesterday to finding those answers. And tomorrow is another step closer to the fairytale ending we all deserve.
It gets better.
As a young woman who’s newly adjusting to a life without love, I consider myself lucky to have even been in this position. Because it means that I am growing as a person and a future partner. These experiences are all very difficult, but they are necessary in life. And I will get through them, and so will you.
A girl who’s broken heart is healed.